So how have you been eating over Halloween and Thanksgiving? Next big holiday is Christmas & New Years.
This time of year, many many people will wake up under a cloud of holiday guilt.
Hungover on a four day binge of seasonal brews and gravy, having eaten so much stuffing and pumpkin bread, they can smell it on their clothes.
The Halloween and Thanksgiving weekends are typically the beginning of snowballing holiday weight gain. Then next thing you know December and January are here, it only gets harder....holiday parties, desserts, and gingerbread flavored everything.
Right now, the internal dialogue of people tends to fall into two categories:
1. "Screw it, the rest of the years a wash. I'm just gonna start over in the New Year...Bring on the Cookies."
2. "Oh my God I feel so fat from this weekend! I'm going to double my workouts, run everyday and work off this food baby!"
The former group binges all month and begins the year with ten more pounds they gotta lose and the latter group doesn't get to enjoy the holidays because they have a "Food Debt" mentality that makes them feel guilty if they slip at all.
Both are not necessarily enviable positions. They represent extremes that aren't all that healthy.
If either of these describes you, here's some advice...
You don't need to be Gung-HO super dieter all the time.
...And JUST because you cut loose this weekend on the Cranberry Bliss Bars does't mean all is lost. A few days of chowing down doesn't mean you have to cut your losses and start over.
In all sports there is an off-season. A time where you loosen the reins, chill out, and recharge your batteries.
If the holiday season is a good opportunity for you to do that, by all means, lighten up a little. This is your off-season.
This doesn't mean November and December are an all out 60-day sugar binge. That's not how an off-season works. You still train to keep and maintain what you've worked all year for. Keeping in mind the new goals you have when the season kicks in.
It's a maintenance period that will allow you to tackle the coming year with renewed intensity.
With this in mind you can embrace the holidays as a necessary part of your training, health, and sanity. Not a two month period of binge and guilt.
So stop alternating from Fitness Nazi to dessert heathen. Stop starting and stopping on the whims of seasons and circumstance.
Stop trying to pay off "Food Debt". You are an athlete. You don't "work it off". You work and re-fuel.
The food you eat is fuel for performance (in the gym, at home, and in the office). As a CrossFitter, you are building something. A physique and level of fitness you can be proud of.
You have gained lean mass and strength over the year and that hard work requires food to burn. So eat knowing it's what you're supposed to do.
Do not try to outwork a crappy diet. Long bouts of cardio coupled with drinking and eating is not going to burn any fat and will most likely burn you out.
Set Yourself up For Success.
If you can you continue training hard and moving towards your fitness goals (weight-loss, etc) knowing that it entails lots of restraint and discipline, go for it!
But if you have doubts about how you'll manage when holiday food and drink will be placed in front of you, you're probably better off starting out slower, allowing for slip ups. Know that in the Holiday Season, progress will be slower. That IS OKAY.
The key is to keep going and not let gingerbread-guilt get the best of you.
By the way... If you plan you eat and indulge this season, it's a good time to get stronger. Doing extra work on your barbell lifts, pull-ups, pushups, etc. will be met with more progress because of the extra food you're eating.
7 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80-85% 1RM
20 KB Swings (55/35)
*2 Minutes rest after each round
This is one of those videos you have to watch during the holiday season. Trust me, watch it to the end..........you're going to get all sorts of feelings after this one.